Surface Bea Lopez! Justice for Peter Agravante and all victims of extrajudicial killings!
The National Democratic Front (NDF)-Negros is very alarmed with another case of abduction and salvaging reported on social media last Saturday, September 16, in southern Negros.
According to alerts on social media, peasant organizer Bea Lopez, 26 years old, and tricycle driver Peter Agravante, 30 years old, were traversing the road along Barangay. Gil Montilla, Sipalay City, Negros Occidental, on September 15 around 10:00 in the morning, when men wearing bonnets riding a van waylaid them and forced them into the vehicle at gun point. Meanwhile, the tricycle the two were on was loaded by the perpetrators onto a pick up truck.
In a matter of hours, a body was reportedly found dumped at Satori Cliff, Barangay. Nagbo-alao, Basay, Negros Oriental and was identified as the abducted tricycle driver, Peter Agravante. His hands were tied with rope, his feet were tied up with duct tape, while his mouth and eyes were also covered with duct tape. He was shot in the head.
Moreover, witnesses point to a suspicious white pick up truck that stopped in the said area and threw something into the roadside, around midnight of September 16, more or less 14 hours after the abduction.
With the gruesome murder of Peter Agravante, it is now more urgent to ask where is peasant organizer Bea Lopez?
This abduction and brutal killing stinks of butcher state forces, particularly the 15th Infantry Battalion (IB) and 47th IB.
Last May 21, the 15th IB mercilessly killed farmer Gusting Mapos in Sitio Bajay, Barangay. Caliling, Cauayan, Negros Occidental and claimed that Mapos was a New People’s Army (NPA) casualty in an encounter between their soldiers and Red fighters, of which the Armando Sumayang Jr Command of the NPA Southwest Negros (ASJC-NPA) already clarified as completely false.
Meanwhile, days after Mapos’ murder, two farmers were captured by the 47th IB in separate incidents and were later found dead. Jonel Bayno’s body was found dumped at Crossing Tanduay, Barangay. Camindangan, Sipalay City on May 25. Rogelio Lacton was also found dead at Sitio Sadlum in the same barangay on May 27.
The 47th IB was likewise involved in the torture and brutal murder of NDF consultant Ericson Acosta and peasant organizer Joseph Jimenez on November 30, 2022. The autopsy report recently shown to the public revealed that Acosta even sustained gunshot wounds post-mortem.
NDF-Negros demands the Philippine Army’s Visayas Command, 302nd Infantry Brigade, 15th IB and 47th IB surface Bea Lopez and answer to the extrajudicial killings their soldiers perpetrated. As it is, the Philippine Army has remained mum on the on-going search for Lyngrace Marturillas, Denald Mialen and Renel de los Santos who they abducted and remain missing since April 19.
Nearing the 51st anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law, the cry for justice is ever resounding on Negros Island. Under the US-Marcos II regime, NDF-Negros has already recorded 461 incidents of human rights violations on the island involving more than 35,000 victims.
NDF-Negros urges all Negrosanons to continue to clamor for justice and demand that fascist soldiers up to the highest officials of the Armed Forces of the Philippines with their commander-in-chief Ferdinand Marcos, Jr be made accountable for all human rights violations. There must be utmost vigilance in exposing and opposing the state terror unleashed on the exploited and oppressed masses in favor of neoliberal interests and bureaucratic greed.
Now more than ever, the revolutionary movement will not falter in carrying forward the people’s cause of social justice, national liberation and genuine peace.###